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February 23, 2022 12:00 am
Can you imagine where you would be today if Jesus hadn't reached down and saved your life? What would you be using to fill the emptiness in your soul? In this message 'Remember!' Stephen challenges us to take a step back and really consider who we've become since our conversion. Worship will occur when we realize that Christ didn't just save us in the past . . . He's saving us still.
As someone who is intellectually biased against any talk of God. Any reference of God. Any suggestion certainly of accountability before God.
Paul would refer to the same kind of person in Ephesians 4 working rights. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God. Why, because of the hardness of their heart.
The foolish person is literally in a deliberate state of where I want to be told me out. Possessions are bad slave to material possessions is one of the things believers leave behind when God saves us there's more on the list of things we leave behind working to start working through that list today. This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen David Stevens teaching from Titus three in a series called remarkable Christianity is calling this lesson, remember about 75 years after Paul wrote his inspired letter to Titus, a church leader. Amanda lived in the city of Athens, wrote a letter to a friend describing the differences between Christians and those around him. He didn't know the Lord.
Given my directors just about 75 years after Paul wrote to Titus this man wrote the difference between Christians and the rest of mankind is not a matter of nationality or language or customs. Christians do not live in separate cities their own spaghetti special dialect or practice any eccentric way of life.
They conform to ordinary local usage in their clothing, diet and other habits. Nevertheless, they do exhibit some features that are remarkable and even surprising. For instance, even though they obey the prescribed laws and their own private lives. They transcend those laws. They show love to all men and all men seem to persecute them. They are misunderstood and condemned, but they were pay curses with blessings and abuse with courtesy sesame or to rights they obey prescribed laws. Paul writes in Titus 31 be subject to rulers and authorities be obedient second century church leader writes the Christians are misunderstood but they were pay curses with blessing.
Paul wrote in that second verse maligning the no one's man wrote, the Christians respond to abuse with courtesy Paul would challenge them and us to be peaceable and gracious.
This man wrote, they show love to all men. Titus 32 says show every consideration to all kinds of men. It sounds like the inspired letter of Paul to Titus, made it from the island of Crete all the way over to the city of of Athens. I wonder if it's made it from the island of Crete in the city of Athens to the city of Gary or Raleigh or Morrisville. This letter has our address the matter we live on the label. It's ours and you might not caught it but right in the middle of this man's letter he used what I'm using is the theme for our series through chapter 3. Let me read it again. He basically says they eat like us as Christians look like us to live around us, but they exhibit some features that are remarkable. They stand out when nobody does this kind of stuff you take abuse sitting down you get out and you swing back you will love all kinds of people you love your favorite kind of people you don't allow misunderstanding to go unchecked. Wait a second listen here, let me set the record straight. You live and act. No wonder this description of them slips in this little letter nearly 2000 years. It is the word in that letter. All he can say is these Christians. Here's a summary. They are remarkable that we've already began the study in Titus chapter 3 in the first two verses, we discovered that they were remarkable because they obey the law. They went the extra mile.
They avoided the grapevine they didn't hit back. They stayed the course and they didn't play favorites.
Now what Paul does next is interesting. He not only reminds them of what they should be doing is remarkable Christians. He reminds them of what they used to be doing what you used to be like look at verse three. Titus chapter 3 for we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient to see enslaved in various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
I want you to notice the verse begins. However, with this connectives conjunction for for we also which basically implies the believer might be wondering why the wealthy should ever be kind and humble and and and show deference and and and humility to others. Paul anticipates that respondent effectively says look you want to live like that your act like this toward them because of what you used to be like verse three and just slip over the very beginning of verse four, where he says and when you were like that. God appeared in kindness and he saved you remarkable Lord. In other words, remember the pit from which you were Doug it'll do you good to remember the slime in which you swam just rather surprising.
Remember the potential of your fallen nature, which used to run and drag you through the mud and you enjoyed every minute of it begin this chapter by saying, remind them, remind them keep on reminding them. Remind these believers what makes them so remarkable than remind them what made them so despicable you think there many counselors are many motivational speakers or whatever people practice going of the reminded people of what they used to be like as an incentive to doing what they should be doing and can you imagine you mean Titus is supposed to challenge Christians to live for Christ by reminding them how they used to live for the devil what kind of strategy is that that's exactly what Paul was about to do. Why he does it will become clear as we end the study. Verse three no more carefully notice for we and I just want to pause because I want you to understand this is encouraging.
Paul shifts from talking about them to talking about us is no longer hey you guys, it's all of us.
Paul never ever forgot his past. You see it slipping out in biographical statements he so caught up with the grace of God in his own life and I'm convinced the people who never completely get over there past are people who never quite get over there conversion never quite forget they were and they live with the grace of God in the forefront of their minds as a result of for we also we I'm including myself in this process. We also once were the first description foolish to use the word biased for the sake of an outline. The idea here is not talking about people who are illiterate people who are on educated the somewhat foolish means or is not referring to silliness. He's not referring to irrational thinking.
The word Paul uses here is someone who is intellectually knowingly biased against any talk of God.
Any reference of God. Any suggestion certainly of accountability before God. Paul would refer to the same kind of person in Ephesians 4, where he writes they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God. Why, because of the hardness of their heart. This person literally scorns the wisdom of God. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 20 verse 26 about them that the foolish person is literally in a deliberate state of folly.
I am where I want to be told. Try to nudge me out of it. That's the ideal foolish deliberately choosing the folly is effectively the opposite of Proverbs 3, five and six in the biased rebel is determined to trust in himself to lean upon his own understanding.
In all his ways to acknowledge himself. Paul is saying we need to remember that that's who we once were, in fact, now that were Christians. Let's not forget how close we are daily to living like that all over again. We still need the reminder to trust him to lean on not on our understanding, but it always to acknowledge him, put him first. The foolish person says I'm first. Don't mention someone that could potentially unseat me from my throne, I'm here, and I like it this way. Don't don't bother me. So it automatically follows the pattern is listed.
Titus chapter 3 verse two that is also disobedient.
I mean if that'll believe God is a right over my life. Why would I ever obey him is not only biased he is.
This word Paul uses describes a person who deliberately chooses to rebel not only against an idea of a personal God, but against an idea of a moral standard created by a personal God, and in this attitude isn't just belligerence against God that Paul doesn't even qualify it that way in this text is an overall categorical lifestyle of belligerence. They live disobedient lives. One author wrote that this word refers to the kind of person who chafes under any kind of authority as you remember how you were until you acknowledge the sovereign mastery of God chafed under any kind of authority certainly is likely were watching our land today is read the newspaper. That is, every so often how the authority of our land through courts and laws there's there's an attempt to rest some kind of develop some kind of control for runaway disobedience, belligerent culture and the culture isn't really responding.
We watched in recent years, legislative bodies begin the way in all kinds of things are passing bands and creating laws. All sorts of activities major and minor weighing and where parents should even bother alleges there actually legislative bands against things like body piercing on minors on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.
Freeman laws against junkfood machines in the school lunch rooms have a law about that at the lower house in the Texas legislature even devised a ban on overtly suggestive cheerleading for high schools. We have put a banner we make a law about those other was ironic. Texas is trying to ban suggestive cheerleading even more ironic is that they in every state in this union would never think about banning or even discouraging sexual activity.
After the game. Let's just keep the cheerleaders from suggesting it during the game.
Let's put a ban must make a law about that one author put it perceptively that we just simply a more more children arriving in the classroom without any kind of moral compass. The parents didn't have one to begin with the pass along lawmakers rightly don't even know where to begin to force the listen. You cannot have.
You cannot watch an argument take place on the floor of a national political party on primetime television, whether or not you should even mention God and then expected next generation to care about God, much less obey God. Here's the progression you develop a personal and cultural bias against God, and you will soon develop a personal and cultural belligerence against the boundaries of God.
Anything that smacks of authority. I am where I am.
Don't mess with me is just a little step away from who do you think you are hard to even suggest that I so foolishness becomes disobedience. Bias turns into belligerence which leads Paul to quality. Says here at disobedient spirit, literally a chafing under any kind of moral or ethical authority in the sky grow more and more obvious when reported recently talked about an incident were hundred 25 Harvard University students were caught collaborating on an exam by way of email.
Even though on the exam printed on it was and I quote violating a new collaboration policy they could not violated by talking to each other forget this many of the students were shocked when they were caught, and then charged with cheating some of them threatened to sue the school because he did know was cheating. Even those printed on the examination.
One reporter responded, tongue in cheek when he wrote, are we meant to assume the students were smart enough to get into Harvard don't know cheating is will the school need offer later course on white subentity to pour gasoline on a flaming toaster oven.
All these news items in all these reports, simply highlight the simple fact that apart from a moral lawgiver, you cannot have moral guidelines whose to say was right around were watching with such speed taking place. I just this month. Just this past month, the country of Brazil became all tangled up. They passed a month earlier, the legality of gay marriage and now a notary happen to approve a three way civil union, one man and two women, which is where you get eventually she claimed that she had broken a law and the trouble is, nobody can argue with her that she noted that Brazil approved gay marriage, notary centers, no laws against polygamy. There are no laws on the books and so since now the definition is flexible. Marriage is obviously flexible. Why not one man to women. Our culture is being set up for polygamy. That's one of the next hurdles in our belligerence against the standard of God. Why not think about it you dismiss God. One man famously said and anything's permissible right but folly world is biased in their folly there belligerence and their disobedience now.
Thirdly, Paul would write their blind blind users deceived spiritually blind is the idea you dismiss God. Follow your own path in the Bible tells you ahead of time to get to go from bad to worse.
You go from a little tangle to all tangled up. Why, because God is the only way center. It is the only voice I sometimes I feel his is the quietest among anything that another voice out there while God will always speak the truth to you while God will always seek to protect you while he will always give you guidelines to provide guidance, direction there's another voice and that voice has a native tongue, and it is of the truth. It is lying. He is the father of what lies Johnny 44 he comes up with that stuff.
But since his native tongue, and he said thousands of years to practice from the very beginning July, he whispered into the ear of the key masquerades as a guy with a pitchfork and a tail and horns but as an angel of what light signal. 14 he deceives the whole world. Revelation 12 is a master at it to the president was the voice of God. Guess what you are now open to listen to the voice of a master deceiver. So the word Paul uses here to describe our fallen condition deceived is awarded. You could literally translate missile led in our vernacular.
You can even use the word duped to Paul warned Timothy that evil men will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived while I got the run scam going deceiving others. They are deceived they are to sing at 313. They look good.
This nonreligious, perhaps they might even have a Colorado semi, the pulpit, what Paul wrote earlier to Titus to make them alert to those who actually turned away from the truth and are now upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach Titus chapter 1 verses 10 and 11th for teaching things that might uplift the spirit might please the ear, but they are Jesus and blind people leading blind people and they're all eventually fall into the same pit Matthew 514, the world is rejecting a creator God and his duped in the process. Blind. So here's the description biased belligerent wind and now, fourthly, bound. He writes in the middle part of verse three, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, enslaved, bound, bound in lusts. The word is up with the media for strong desire to keep in mind that word refers to that which is only in the mind, the heart is the fantasy of the mind is the desire of the heart people. Then he says are enslaved to fantasies.
You can be enslaved to something that only takes place in your mind what you ever do anything about it. She Paul have something to say to our culture today. In the popular argument that violence gaming or pornography isn't really all that bad because you're not actually physically involved is just a game is just in the mind policy now. It all belongs in the same kettle soup more that he's writing this to all of us. Here's part of this pointy thing. Look, this is this is part of our old lives.
This represents our old life, not her new life that belongs in the in the pit in it and in the yes it was to crawl out of that. On every occasion it can create Barnett up put all kinds of limitations garnered your heart out if it comes issues of life, death is the warning since we eventually act out fantasies. It begins in the mind and heart and eventually is or can be acted out. Paul then uses the next word I just lusts but pleasures. This is a word physically acting out sinful desire of the word Paul uses here for pleasure is actually the word Haydon day, which gives us our word hedonism that broadens it all.
See hedonism is simply the pursuit of self-satisfaction Megan anyway. Anything whatever might be.
Hedonism is the number one religion on the planet is it. It's at the core it's I me and my fact would you notice he uses the word here before lusts and pleasures, the word various various and how it is in your translation, but it means multicolored variegated many colored colors are out there and we got to primaries in our many more nap which is weightier life of the panoramas that you download close the pickup blue paint so you go to Lowe's and walk up to the 90 say I'm here to get a gallon of blue paint pizzas begins to laugh at you, kind of blue you want blue.
How hard can that be will go over that wall. We got 300,000 color pieces and you look at all of the blues as it is a teal blue is a royal blue steel blue is as a powder blue is aqua blue is a navy blue is baby blue is Mediterranean blue.
It is, it cobalt blue is periwinkle blue and the guys laugh and he still on the floor over there at your predicament and then you spot it got it Carolina blue hallway. Then you see Duke below. You can leave now, that your color you had no idea there were so many colors blue on the planet. That's the idea here, you have no idea kinds of sin.
We can come up with no idea word for pleasures here, by the way, is not just a reference to some kind of immoral or sexual sin. Paul actually uses it in his letter to Timothy for covetousness from materialism. Materialism that your color palette materialism. This word covetousness is effectively saying he is is enslaving us to want more things about it. Dreams about it and fantasizes about it lusts after it lives for it needs more money for whatever it is I want that shape matching J matching I want that color and eye color and then color that I wanted all the world thinks it's free as a bird to want anything to pursue anything and pauses nose actually enslavement you are enslaved to what you have, what you can have what you shouldn't have, what you don't have has more to teach you passage, however, were very close to the end of our time with you for today we come back next time. Stephen will do a little bit of review and then conclude this lesson. This is wisdom for the heart.
Stephen Davey is teaching through a series from Titus three called remarkable Christianity. This lesson is called remember Stephen is the pastor of the shepherd's church in Cary, North Carolina. If your travel plans ever bring you through our area. We enjoy having you worship with us on the Lord's day.
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